Tom Sherwood, Kojo Nnamdi, Mary Cheh Get D.C. Flag Tattoos | NBC4 Washington
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Tom Sherwood, Kojo Nnamdi, Mary Cheh Get D.C. Flag Tattoos

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    News4's own Tom Sherwood got a tattoo of the D.C. flag on Friday, keeping his word to get inked if a donor made a major gift to WAMU 88.5. Hear what Jim Vance had to say about it. (Published Friday, Nov. 20, 2015)

    News4 reporter Tom Sherwood just made a big commitment -- a permanent one, in fact.

    Sherwood had been saying for years that if a WAMU 88.5 listener made a major donation during "The Politics Hour," he would get a tattoo of the D.C. flag. 

    Done, and done.

    On Friday, Sherwood, WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi and D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh headed to the H Street NE location of Fatty's Custom Tattooz. A crowd gathered to watch as three artists, including the owner, tattooed varying versions of the three-star D.C. flag on each person.

    Sherwood had a red flag inked onto his bicep, while Nnamdi got a black flag on the inside of his elbow. Cheh -- whose version of the flag features hearts instead of stars -- got hers on her foot.

    "It actually doesn't hurt as much as I thought it would hurt," Sherwood said as he was inked, "although this red color that's going on now hurts worse than the outline."

    Sherwood said he'd been nervous before the big event, but not because of the pain.

    "Well, you know, I actually woke up three times last night, worried about it," he said before the tattoo artists got started. "Because, again, I'm not a tattoo person; I'm not worried about it hurting, I'm not worried about it not looking good, I' m not worried about any of that. It's just that I don't normally mark up my body. I don't even dress up for Halloween. So this is kind of odd for me."

    Sherwood, a regular guest analyst on "The Kojo Nnamdi Show," had said for several years that he'd get a D.C. flag tattoo like his son's if someone made a donation fo $5,000 to the show.

    No one ever came through, so he lowered the amount to $3,000. During Oct. 23's show, Nnamdi and Cheh, the guest on the show that day, chimed in and said they'd get the tattoos, too... if only someone would donate. 

    Within minutes, the long-sought donation arrived, the station announced on Twitter

    "I'm too old to be getting a tattoo, but for WAMU I'm going to," Sherwood said at the time.

    Sherwood said he and Nnamdi first discussed the tattoo in 2012.

    "I wanted to do something for WAMU, so I thought I'd offer to get a D.C. flag tattoo like my son's if someone donates $5,000," he said, describing the image on the bicep of his son, Peyton Sherwood. "No one said OK, so I decided to drop the price to $3,000. Then, what do you know, someone did it."

    Sherwood, an Atlanta native who's lived in the District since 1974, said he was proud to contribute to the WAMU program.

    "I think 'The Politics Hour' is a very good place where people can hear politicians for more than a minute or two," he said. "We get to talk about regional politics and have conversations. I think that's important."

    Cheh said through a spokeswoman that the tattoo would not be be her first and that she was happy to show support for the station in such a permanent way.

    "I love public radio and WAMU in particular. Intelligent programming, great guests and every week I learn something new," she said last month. "I'm also a staunch D.C. statehood advocate, so when I was presented with the opportunity to join Tom and Kojo in the D.C. flag tattoo pledge, it was no question that I wanted to participate and support everything this effort stands for."